Beck’s New Single Shows Why He’s On Rock’s Cutting Edge

Throughout his career Beck has confounded fans and critics alike by devoting an entire album to a certain style of music, and then following it up with something yet again completely different. From the Seventies Funk and Soul of Midnite Vultures to the Brazilian tropicalia styles of Mutations to the sad folk ballads of Sea Change to the electronica of The Information and finally to the brilliantly-crafted folk-Rock of 2014’s Morning Phase — which deservedly earned him the Grammy Album of the Year — Beck has always kept his audience guessing.

So what direction would Rock’s chameleon go after his huge Grammy honor? In 2015 he released the single “Dreams”, an infectious pop-Rock earworm built on an wide collection of musical elements making it hard to classify. Last year he gave us “Wow”, a crafty little number that evolves seamlessly from hip hop into electronica chill, pretty catchy even if you don’t dig either style.

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At a single-per-year rate, it could take a while to finally come up with an album of new material. Beck explained to reporters that the reason the album was taking so long was that the songs were very different from one another and needed different kinds of production and mixing. Could it be that Beck is going to put all his multi-colored stylistic eggs in one basket this time? We will find out October 15 when he releases the album Colors, his first album in three years.

The third single off the album, the just-released “Dear Life”, seems to substantiate Beck’s claims of wide stylistic diversity. This is a brilliant piece of pure Rock – piano-driven, Beatley, and punchy both musically and lyrically – and yet you can still draw a connecting line between it and the previous two unabashedly contemporary tracks. I’ve always said that Beck still hasn’t made his masterpiece album. Could this be the time when he finally brings it all together?

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